Slovenia Business Link Newsletter

September 2016

CCIS NEWS

Management Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia: Eligibility for tax relittef for research and development – the criteria shall not apply retrospectively

At a session held on 14 September the Management Board of the CCIS discussed together with Minister Počivalšek the economic strategies, strategic R&D partnerships (SRIP) and support for entrepreneurship. Members of the Management Board expect in particular a solution regarding eligibility for tax relief for research and development. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (MESDT) will prepare new instructions, propose that the regulations are amended, which will define in more detail the investments in R&D. It will try to explain the problem to the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FARS). The MESDT believes that if the first instructions, to which FARS refers to, were prepared in 2014 it cannot be applied for the period prior to that.

A new collective agreement for real estate activities is signed

On 9 September, after more than three years of negotiation procedures, a new Collective agreement for real estate activities was signed. With its enforcement, the present agreement, entered into in 1998, ceases to apply. The collective agreement maintains the material scope modelled on the preceding one; it applies primarily to all employers, members of the signatories – contracting parties, and thus their employees, and in particular to those employers whose dominant activities on the market are activities expressly listed in the collective agreement under the Standard Classification of Activities 2008 (SKD 2008).

Five key measures for a technological and innovation breakthrough

Participants at the 3rd Slovenia 5.0 Strategy Conference, held on 7 September, agreed that in particular significantly higher embedding of the educational sphere into the economy, the establishment of a more attractive tax and investment environment, the digitalization of the economy and an increase in funds for R&D without increasing public spending are essential. The event was organized by the CCIS in cooperation with the Slovenian Academy of Engineering (SAE).

A step closer to the digital transformation of the Western Balkans

At a conference held at the Bled Strategic Forum on 5 September, the representatives of governments, chambers and companies from the countries of the Western Balkan region discussed the possibilities and opportunities to accelerate digital transformation and strengthen regional cooperation in the area of the Western Balkans. The chambers of commerce signed a Single Digital Initiative (SDI) with the aim of connecting the countries of the Western Balkans to enable the successful development, economic growth and prosperity of the “Future Region”.

Employers at the employment law conference

The central theme of the 3rd Employers' day held on 30 August was the document “For Decent Work”, published by the Government in the spring. The participants discussed the Employement Relationship Act three years after its implementation and exchanged their views and proposals for any possible amendments to it. A survey on the most needed changes of the employment law confirmed the necessity for making the termination of an employment relationship more flexible.

UPCOMING EVENTS

21 September: Innovation Day 2016 - The 9th conference on the transfer of technologies and the 14th award ceremony for the best innovations at a national level

There will be a discussion at theConferenceon research and innovations, which provide benefits not only to a narrow circle of companies and users, but also to the wider environment.Individual meetingsbetween the researchers and companies will also be organized. In the context of theawardceremony, which will start at 2.30 p.m., the winners of the gold awards will present themselves in English in a creative way.

22 September: Marketing as a necessary preparation for sales - 8th entrepreneurial chat

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of direct marketing in connecton with the changes set by the market and social networks. The chat is intended for all entrepreneurs, directors, heads and employees, responsible for increasing sales in the company.

22 - 23 September: 6th problem conference of the communal economy

This year's focus was the responsible provision of communal services. The first day of the conference will be devoted to a broader and systematic view on the contents connected to the central issue; on the second day four parallel thematic strands will be held (economics, waste management, drinking water supply and wastewater collectment and treatment), addressing individually more significant operative aspects and examples of good practices related to the central issue.

23 September: Positive leadership: from fire extinguishing to generating value

The positive psychology of management uses evidence-based techniques, which contribute to the business growth of individuals, excellence and an increase in productivity. You are invited to attend the workshop and learn how to use the elements of positive psychology for a smarter creation of value. The workshop will be lead by Miriam Akhtar. It will be held in English.

26 September: Obzorje 2020 – opportunity for collaboration

At the conference, outstanding foreign and domestic professionals will present topical issues and the latest trends in Obzorje 2020.

29 – 30 September: Best practice day 2016

The purpose of the conference is to encourage companies to transfer to digital management and to present the best practices of the transition from the constant improvement of processes through leanness to the digital transformation of processes.

6 - 7 October: 18th Congress of accounting services providers

The Congress of accounting services providers is an annual flagship event held by the Chamber of Accountant Services and its purpose is to present the most up-to-date topics in the field which directly impact the activities of accounting services.

7 October: Opportunity for new contacts in Slovakia - preliminary invitation

A football match between the Slovene and Slovak national teams will be held on 8 October this year within the framework of qualifications for the football world championship in 2018. Sports and business almost always complement each other, and so one day earlier, i.e. on 7 October, a business conference will be held at the CCIS, which will be attended by representatives of Slovene and Slovak companies and government institutions.

13 October: 4th European parliament of companies, Brussels

800 business leaders from 45 European countries will meet again in the hemicycle of the European parliament. This is the biggest event at the EU level, which gives the floor directly to business leaders and represents a unique opportunity to discuss with senior representatives of European institutions on topical economic issues. The participants will vote on questions related to internal and external EU trade, energy and the environment, knowledge and migrations, and thus contribute to the formulation of a future EU legislative agenda.

13 - 14 October: Recycling industry conference “How to reach the targets in recycling 2020? ”

At the conference we will focus on the identification of all the grounds and frameworks for individual significant waste streams, which can enable us to achieve these ambitious targets and create more jobs; offer more opportunities and use fewer resources. We will also prove that we can be excellent in our environment and a driving force in the recycling business.

16 - 20 October: United Arab Emirates, Dubai

A visit by Slovene companies to the GITEX Technology Week will been organized, which will take place in Dubai between 16 and 20 October 2016. GITEX is an excellent platform and entry point for green technology businesses in the Middle East, Northern Africa and South-East Asia.

7 - 10 November: Visit to the Elmia Subcontracting fair, Sweden, Jönköping

We are organizing a visit by Slovene companies to the fair at Elmia Subcontracting, the leading fair in Northern Europe, where business ties between producers and contracting partners for subcontracting are established. Each year, technologically sophisticated and globally present companies, such as Volvo, ABB, Scania, Ericsson, Atlas Copco, SKF, etc. will be present at the fair. 1,200 exhibitors from 30 countries from around the world attend the event every year.

20 - 24 November: United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 20 to 24 November 2016

We are organizing a visit by Slovene companies at the largest construction fair in the Middle East, The Big 5, which will take place in Dubai between 21 and 24 November 2016. More than 3,100 exhibitors from 67 countries from around the world will be presented at the fair, which is visited by over73,000 business visitors every year and represents an excellent platform for networking and a review of the latest products and innovative technologies in construction.

BETTER REGULATION

16 September: New evidence that we urgently need reforms

On the new scale of economic freedom Slovenia ranks as the worst on the volume of (quasi) state and regulations and procedures, including regulations on business and the labour market.

9 September: Appeal to the members of parliament: Decide on a fair and determined tax reform

On 8 September, despite the opposition of the majority of representatives of business, the government of the Republic of Slovenia upheld the proposals of tax restructuring. The government of the Republic of Slovenia is indifferent to a fair and determined tax reform. Marjan Mačkošek, CCIS President: “We hope that the members of parliament will not circumvent the position of the CCIS and other employer's associations, as the proposal is not acceptable for most of the citizens and companies of Slovenia.”

31 August: Note: We are behind the Visegrad group

Slovenia has again recorded a higher growth than the EU average, however, at the same time we are behind some of the Visegrad countries. For this reason, structural changes for long term growth are necessary.

25 August: Research and development: The state is filling the national budget at the cost of companies!

A retroactive inspection of companies, which is used to check their eligibility for tax relief for research and development until 2012, is illegal and unjustified.

DATA SECTION

Slovenia continues successfully, but for how long? In 2015, Slovenia recorded a 23% growth of GDP (prior to the revision the growth was 2.9%). This year, Slovenia continues with the positive dynamics of economic growth in the second quarter, as according to today's announcement by the Statistical Office, the interim GDP has increased by 2.7%. Slovenia again recorded a higher growth than the EU average, however, at the same time it is behind the growth of most Visegrad countries. Manufacturing, which strengthened the export and import dynamics and production, as well as domestic consumption, contributed most to the growth. Manufacturing records an 8.3% interim growth of added value in the second quarter, real estate activities 5.1% and trade, transport, and catering services together a 4% growth in added value. Because of the favourable dynamics on the international markets, exports by Slovene companies are also increasing. Export increased by 7.5%, mainly due to goods (by 8.8%). Manufacturing recorded a strong growth in industrial production in May and June (in June it was higher by 6.1%). Export increased due to higher private consumption, which is in the interim period higher by 7.2% (by 4.9% in the first quarter). The expected increase in domestic expenditure. As envisaged in the analytics in our forecasts, higher private consumption is being realized, as the conditions on the labour market are improving. Interim household consumption has increased by 2.6%, which is a result of higher salaries, in particular in the public sector, low inflation and household credit growth with low interest rates. In the second quarter, employment growth was enhanced on the labour market (in June it was higher by 1.6%) and unemployment fell to under 100 thousand individuals. The employment level has thus been the highest in the last two years. Activities are also increased in other service activities, which encourages additional employment and spending. As a result of higher spending and the conditions on the labour market, the inflow of taxes has been recorded. The deleveraging of companies contributes to the growth of investments. The trend of the activities in construction turned slightly up in the second quarter, but nevertheless, due to the absence of EU funds in June it recorded a 16% lower interim value of the construction work carried out. Investments in buildings and facilities contributed to the fall in investments, as they fell by 18.5% (in particular investments in other buildings and facilities -24.3%). On the other hand, investments in equipment and machinery increased by 13.2%, in particular the growth of investments in transport equipment, where the rolling stock is strengthening, as well as the number of newly registered vehicles. Companies spend more on investments in other equipment and machinery (+11%), as more favourable interest rates with less indebted companies allow for new investments. Spending by the state is slightly lower. In the second quarter, spending by the state slightly decreased (interim +2.1%, in the first quarter +3.4%); in particular due to the reduction in EU funds, despite the release of the Fiscal Balance Act (ZUJF). The EU funds would contribute to the growth in manufacturing and service activities.

Below you will find some statistical data for Slovenia.

 

Growth rates in % - in comparison with the same period in the previous year

Latest data

GDP – real growth

2.7

2nd quarter 2016

Consumer prices (HICP)

0.0

Aug. 2016

Exports of goods

-3.1

Jul. 2016

Imports of goods

-2.4

Jul. 2016

Industrial production (manufacturing)

7.4

Jul. 2016

Retail sales (real)

3.5

Jul. 2016

Construction (real)

-15.9

Jun. 2016

Exchange rate EUR/USD

1,1212

Aug. 2016

Petrol, unleaded, 95-oct. (EUR/litre)

1,205

Valid from September 13th, 2016

 

 

Issued by: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Dimičeva 13, Ljubljana
Contact: poslovni.tednik@gzs.si, T: (01) 5898 000,eng.gzs.si

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